UFC Vegas 81: Viviane Araujo Claims Two Rounds, Wins Decision Over Jennifer Maia

Jennifer Maia and Viviane Araujo, UFC Vegas 81
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) Viviane Araujo of Brazil and Jennifer Maia of Brazil trade punches in a flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on October 14, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The co-main event of UFC Vegas 81 saw an all-Brazilian women’s flyweight clash go down, with former title challenger and Invicta FC champ Jennifer Maia taking on Viviane Araujo.

Early on, the pair traded leg kicks and jabs, with neither really getting ahead in the back-and-forth battle. About two minutes in, they closed the distance, coming together for a bit of phone booth fighting with athletes landing before disengaging.

The tit-for-tat nature of the fight continued with neither Araujo or Maia willing to give an inch. The pair would clinch up later in the round, spin around, and when exchanges did transpire both fighters fired hard shots — but it remained close til the buzzer, and they moved on to the second stanza.

Round two saw a change of pace, as the pair went to the ground with Araujo taking the back. She got hooks in, and a loose body triangle at times, and controlled Maia’s wrists. The rear-naked choke wasn’t really there, but at the same time, Araujo was eating up time while in control, and the ref was nowhere near standing the pair up. Three plus minutes of ground control were the end result, unofficially anyway, and unlike the first round, there was a clear winner to the second: Viviane Araujo.

The third round saw a grinding, grueling grappling battle play out along the fence. Araujo drove Maia back into the cage, with Maia fighting off a takedown for a considerable amount of time. Eventually they came off, exchanged, then went back to the fence with Maia driving into Araujo and completing a takedown. Maia wrapped her leg around Araujo’s, and while Viviane did make it up, she was taken down again.

They’d go to the scorecards, with Araujo coming away with the victory in the end. The win snapped a two-fight skid and gets her back on track.

Official Result: Viviane Araujo def. Jennifer Maia by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)